In response to pressure by media watchdog Honest Reporting, the New York Times ended its relationship with repeat contributor Fady Hanona on August 12. This comes after revelations that the Gaza Strip-based freelance producer and fixer had not only advanced anti-Semitic tropes and rhetoric, but called for violence in a number of instances.
Hanona contributed to the paper's reporting on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians right up until his August dismissal.
Honest Reporting, which is run by former chief political correspondent at the Jerusalem Post Gil Hoffman, recently drew attention both to Hanona's contributions to the New York Times, the BBC, the Guardian, and VICE News and to some of the political views he has expressed online.
Akiva Van Koningsveld documented a number of cases in which the New York Times' former freelancer advocated violence against Israelis and supported those who have committed grievous crimes. In one instance, Hanona threatened to murder Ghassan Alian, who had been commander of the Israeli Defense Forces' Golani Brigade.
StopAntisemitism.org, alerted to Hanona's history of hateful rhetoric online by Honest Reporting, highlighted another one of the comments he made on his now-deleted social media, here suggesting that he wouldn't be upset with killing Jews.
On August 10, 2014, Hanona quoted Adolf Hitler, writing: "As Hitler said, give me a Palestinian soldier and a German weapon and I will make Europe crawl on its knees, Israel will submit." Eight days later, Hanona reportedly urged the Palestinian guerillas to reject a truce and to "continue hitting Tel Aviv and return to clash from point zero."
Koningsveld emphasized that Hanona is "entitled to his personal views, however ignorant and distasteful they may be." Honest Reporting's interest in the matter is that Hanona has and continues to act as a fixer for foreign media organizations and personnel.
The Times of Israel noted that fixers, such as Hanona, help foreign journalists and news organizations coordinate logistics and provide translation.
According to Koningsveld, a politically motivated personality like Hanona "can be selective with the information [he feeds] the journalist or, at worst, mistranslate the words of interview subjects." The media watchdog is concerned, ultimately, that someone who has involved himself in the causes he helps others report on will result in "skewed news coverage about the Arab-Israeli conflict."